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The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  221 ratings  ·  46 reviews
From, the popular website for women, comes a must-read encyclopedic guide to pop culture, feminism, fashion, sex, and much more.

Within months of Jezebel's May 2007 appearance on the new media scene, fans of the blog began referring to themselves as "Jezzies" in comment threads and organizing reader meet-ups in cities all over the world. By 2008, the devotion of
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

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I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Fun, funny, and informative. I found myself really interested in finding out more about the men, and women I had never heard of, and seeing different perspectives on people I thought I knew. I liked how unflinching some of the articles on some of the different people were, and they didn't avoid looking at the more negative attitudes, and judgments of many of them. Pretty sad how many older feminist leaders seem to
ARC via NetGalley

The Book of Jezebel is a perfect example of that always awkward category of pop-culture coffee table books that exist primarily to communicate to others that you having an affection for Topic X. I originally assumed that this volume would serve as an encyclopedia of key authors from and topics covered on (a pop-culture focused women's issue site with a strong feminist bent), however I was very much mistaken. Instead it serves as an encyclopedia about anything vaguely
This is a truncated version of my full review [ ].

The Book of Jezebel has been called a feminist text/coffee table book that will be on the coffee table of every third-wave feminist. NPR suggests you choose it over the latest Bridget Jones book! I suggest that you should instead send the $27 to your local abortion fund, Planned Parenthood or other fave feminist organization.

Basically, "We can do better feminism."

Admittedly, as a critic of Jezebel, I went
This books is loaded up on pictures and has barely any text, not to mention, it reads at a grade three level. I thought the 'teasers' the site was featuring for this book were just that and there would be more 'meat' to it, but nope, that's pretty much it. I'm honestly insulted that Jezebel not only would charge $30 CDN for this, but that they're marketing it to adults.

I could maybe see this as a good book for pre-teens who want to get their toes wet in the world of feminism and issues pertaini
This just made me sad. I miss the Jez of yore. Not that I don't think there are some great writers there at the moment, but nothing can erase the profound change that came with the passing of the flag from Anna to Jessica, marked by the infamous French street harassment post of November 2010. I'd hoped the book would have more direct discussion of or reprints from the site, but instead it's an encyclopedia of things and people that the editors felt tied into the idea of Jezebel.

Listen, if there'
I thought this would be a neat book to flip through, since I am of the female persuasion and love a good illustrated collection. However, I wasn't much a fan of this at all. I didn't realize that "lady things" was an all encompassing term for whatever the editors felt like talking or complaining about. Not only that, but the information for each seemed mostly useless and often random. Some terms were given full, in depth paragraphs and others a sentence. It's an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. I ...more
The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things, edited by Anna Holmes of, is a witty, entertaining guide to all things "lady adjacent."

High Points
Praises those early pioneers of the feminist movements and the women who continue to fight for women's rights and champion their issues. Witty as all get out. Did you know Bea Arthur was a staff sergeant in the Marines?! Also, Ab Fab!

Low Points
Hypercritical and down right judgmental at times. Certain entries made me
Terrible and boring. It's too bad I can't just mark it as DNF and not as "read" since I didn't bother reading too far in this book. The book is so bad I actually added a DNF shelf to my books.
Liz De Coster
Funny, interesting, and covers a lot more ground than I anticipated. I do wish they'd sacrificed perhaps some of that breadth for depth, and their coverage of people, events, and issues was more appealing than their coverage of random words ("unfriend").

Also, why a section on Barnard and none of the other Seven Sisters? There was a bit on the Seven Sisters themselves but no other individual school was name-dropped, even though at 3-4 Mount Holyoke alumnae were named, and 1-2 Smith names were hi
The tagline of is "Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing." When the website debuted in 2007, it took the Internet by storm. Founding editor Anna Holmes said she set out to create a women's magazine that she would actually want to read, albeit one that lived online. Unlike many traditional women's magazines, which perpetuate a negative body image to better sell beauty products, Jezebel gave women thoughtful commentary and a safe place to discuss everything from reprod ...more
Fun supplemental text for their website.
Disappointing. America is apparently all there is - the rest of us are irrelevant, apparently. Contradictory entries and an overuse of snark. I normally quite enjoy snark but this book is an overdose. I also find the disrespect of many women in it ironic given the intended nature of the book. I do read Jezebel online and had much higher hopes for this volume. Do not recommend.
loved reading from A to Z in this "encyclopedia of lady things"! Since it was a gift to my daughter, I may have to consider getting my own copy when she leaves for home :-)
Great cover, horrible coffee table book. Wait and find this in a bargain bin on clearance and use the cover for crafts, tossing the actual text.
April (The Steadfast Reader)
This review is based on an advanced electronic copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Fellow feminists, put this in your must have coffee table book of the year.

Let's start with my disclaimer above. I haven't seen a hard copy of this book, what I'm hoping for is better illustrations. Glossy coffee table book magic illustrations. The illustrations and pictures in the e-book left me a little flat. I'm hoping for something more beautiful, I need to get down to a bookstore
If you’re a female and you’ve been to the Internet before, you’ve probably (hopefully) ended up on And when you got there if you said aloud, “Oh, thank God!” in relief, then you might want to get this book. It is smart, funny, and very entertaining.

It is, as it says, an illustrated encyclopedia so it’s not really something you’d sit down and read cover to cover. It’s more fun to pick a letter and run. I was very pleased with how much variety is in the book, as well as the fact that
Laura Lee
Anything that I read from Jezebel is almost guaranteed to either tickle my feminist funnybone or make me furious. They did a little bit of both with this book, but I've evolved enough at this point to understand that I can't voluntarily read a feminist, far-left publication and get up in arms about everything I don't necessarily agree with. So instead of critiquing the politics in this book (and really, aren't we all tired of the Internet "comment pundits" anyway?) I will just say that I thought ...more
I agree with others in that this is incredibly uneven and often veers way too far toward the snarky. Also agree that some entries do seem pretty random. The three stars, however, is for the occasional gems. Good intros on women musicians and artists. The entry on "Claus, Mrs." Made me laugh out loud as did a few others.
An interesting reference book for those interested in gender studies and pop culture. They have a very specific slant on things (what they like, they really like) but there is also some good historical/cultural background for under 25's.
Similar humor to the website. I don't know what I was expecting. I think maybe I wanted something a little less encyclopedic, but I mean, like I said, what was I expecting, it's a freakin' encyclopedia! There are some hilarious descriptions though. Case in point: the definition of children is "a side effect of sex." There are also some great descriptions of lady figures & lady movements. I dunno. It is what it is!
I read it cover to cover and loved it. I learned so much from this book. I had to keep a list with the book of all the things I needed to further research.
I did not know what to expect when I requested this book. It is an encyclopedia of lady things like the title suggests. However, it was entertaining and interesting to read it cover to cover. Okay, I did skim through a few entries, but it is rife with information about people, things, modern and classic definitions. This is a book clueless men should read.
While this is a clever bit of design, in creating a pop-culture feminist encyclopedia, this was not the book I was hoping for. I'd wanted more than just some quick entries about key feminist people, events and trends. I was hoping for some collection of actual writing and analysis from Jezebel and other current, young, post-feminist feminist writers. That isn't in this book, and maybe I'm just too old, but this volume felt as ephemeral as most online content does. I was hoping for a work that cr ...more
Excellent for teenagers! Not a lot of new ideas or content for an old lady like myself.
really cool book! pictorial, real and visually captivating.
Okay, I didn't finish finish reading this as it was taken out of the library. But what I did read I enjoyed and didn't find it nearly as snarky as some of the other reviewers were making it out to be.
Erin Tuzuner
A grab bag of female or female adjacent things. For some reason, didnt include John Waters, Mermaids, Now and Then, or Drop Dead Gorgeous. Also has a self righteous and judgmental tone, which is why I am ambivalent at best about the website. Interesting to note for all their derision of transphobic female authors, only featured one trans individual : Brandon Teena. Possibly suitable for teenagers who havent discovered Rookie or as a forced parent interaction under the guise of education but real ...more
Britt Wood
My favourite coffee table book of all time! I don't think that the editors did themselves any favours by limiting the book to American pop culture when they could have expanded their horizons internationally. I did not expect that it would be full of so many fantastic film recommendations. Despite its limitations, I love this collection and I'm glad I read it.
A good "lazy" read but I would have liked some more substantial content.
Mills College Library
305.42 H2636 2013
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Anna Holmes has written and edited for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, InStyle and The New Yorker online. She is the founder of the popular website and the 2012 recipient of a Mirror Award for Best Commentary. In 2013 her Twitter account was named one of the top 140 Twitter feeds by Time Magazine, at which point she became incredibly self ...more
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